Saturday, October 31, 2009


This year was COLD! It didn't snow or rain, so it wasn't terrible, but I think the girls finished in record time just so they could go inside. We usually get pictures by the car but they were off like a shot (not even bothering for a parent to attend them this year). Tyler carried Tiger-Daisy (get it, not Tiger-Lily...) and I manned the vehicle. Shivering kids came holding shaking bags and I distributed goodies (I was a total slacker this year and I did not get around to ordering stuff from Oriental Trading Company, so I just gave out boring candy). I eventually sent Tyler in to get some pictures, but I am not loving the background. I am sure he had his hands full managing all four, so we will call it good this year (since I didn't get to either of the girls school parades, and I was busy face-painting for Ivory's pre-school party). I do feel like a bit of a slacker, but you get the idea. June went as a cat.

Robyn was a gypsy.

Ivory was a witch.

And then of course Tiger-Daisy. Oh, wait. We didn't get ANY pictures of Daisy because Tyler was holding her, so we did an impromptu photo session two minutes ago and I am loving my little Tiger (sans whiskers).

That last picture is simply to remind me of my theft (you can even see Tyler's condemning eyes). And yes, she got more pictures than the rest of the kids, but we have already discussed how life is not fair (Oh, and to give credit where it is due—Tyler did take those less than savory pictures at the church, but he also took all the stinkin' cute ones of Daisy. He's not a bad photographer himself).

I went as Penelope this year (you have to have seen the movie to get it).

Only a handful of people knew who I was. Some guessed I was the swine-flu. No. The outfit was actually quite advantageous considering the weather.

Tyler went as a gun-slinger and I finally got some photos of him after the event. Um...yummy.

The chili/soup cook-off after Trunk-r-Treat was good but crowded as usual. I admit freely that I will enjoy these events more when I can send my kids off to get their own food and I don't have to worry about filling four plates/bowls before I can sit myself.

And so ended the evening of sugar gathering.

I felt that we had enough and therefore I am not taking the kids trick-or-treating on Halloween (a.k.a. tonight), but I did plan a family Halloween party so that should ease the pain. Plus, they are very excited to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters. But I'll tell you now, if the older kids in the neighborhood come wearing no costumes and looking for a free hand-out, think again. I'm going to make them sing or something. Maybe do some of my dishes...

p.s. I have never been able to talk my kids into doing a theme together. This year was the closest we got with two costumes in the cat family. I'll take theses two kitties for sure.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Carved Pumpkins Tell No Tales

For FHE, we had our annual pumpkin carving. I would like to say that this was a family activity, but we were missing a couple since Daisy goes to bed early, and Ivory joined her since she was beyond cranky. Beyond people. The older girls were ready for some carving or so I thought. I don't think they remembered the gory process one must go through to hollow out a pumpkin and they were less than thrilled. I'm pretty sure that at one point I heard Robyn say, "I want to stay clean like a princess." Sheesh, what am I raising, a bunch of girls?

June was less squeamish about the whole thing but she didn't love the 'pumpkin webs' as she called them. Okay, let's be frank, cleaning out the inside of the pumpkin isn't my favorite part either. The gook inside makes my skin itch. I always wonder if I am slightly allergic to pumpkin guts, but I think it makes everyone's skin itch.

The girls are getting old enough that I let them draw their own faces on the pumpkins and then I carved them (maybe we'll give them the knife next year). I decided to take a new approach to carving and I had Tyler bring out his special tools.

The drill worked fabulously, and when this baby is lit, it looks like a disco ball.

I love it. Tyler didn't stop there, but instead played with his dremel thus producing the pumpkin dust that he is covered in (you really should click on his picture—it is on his glasses and in his hair; it's everywhere).

When we were all finished, we lit out creations and admired our hard work. I give you 'Pam', 'Michael', 'Boo!', and 'Disco Inferno.'

Tyler didn't drill all the way through his which is why Pam looks more muted.

Not to be outdone, I offered Ivory the chance to carve the next afternoon, but I can't say I was sad that she chose the face creations instead of icky sticky pumpkin guts. I think her pumpkin looks great and I guarantee it won't rot as quickly.

As for Daisy, and baby bump...well...we got them pumpkins, but they probably won't get carved this year. It's the thought that counts girls.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

'Sobfest 2010' also know as the 'Martin's Cove Trek'

Our ward has decided to do the Martin's Cove Trek next July. There is quite a bit of preparation that goes into such an endeavor. There have already been fundraisers and the Bishopric have been out to the area to preview our experience. This evening we had a fireside dedicated to the Martin's Cove excursion.

I was NOT ready for it. It was great in that they had people come speak who have been on the trek before; but that was the problem as well. It all started to become very real to me. Pulling handcarts, walking miles, fording rivers, herding children, carrying a baby...I wonder if I am up for the task. Mainly I wonder if my tearducts are up for the task.

See, I tend to be rather weepy when it comes to spiritual experiences. Just listening to a young woman sing a song this evening had the tears dripping down my cheeks and June asking what was wrong with me (but come on now, it was a song written from the point of view of a child). Oh, and did I mention that I am pregnant so I cry at the drop of a hat anyway?

Add to this the fact that I am a softy in general and have been known to cry watching commercials or listening to country songs. There is no hope for me in 2010. Granted, I will not be pregnant, but I will have a four month old and will probably still have plenty of post-pregnancy hormones flowing through my system.

I think that about 15 out of the 17 pounds I can bring ought to be tissue. Either that, or I will have very wet sleeves by the end of the trek.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Halloween Brings Out the Best in Me

I saw this sign months ago and had to get it. Unfortunately, some days it is more true than not.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Don't Judge Me, I Judge Myself

I found out today that I must be super honest at heart, because I am overloaded with guilt that I walked out of the store without paying for something today. Granted, I did it on purpose...but let me explain.

See, I bought this little tiger costume for Daisy because I was realizing that I didn't have anything for her and that I actually didn't care (this is what happens to fourth children, she better get used to it). So when I saw some cute get-ups at Wal-mart for a mere $8, I caved and bought one that would barely fit Daisy now (being a little snug) but would probably fit baby number 5 next Halloween (being a bit loose). Then I could side-step the didn't-bother-with-child-who-can't-talk-therefore-can't-bug-me-about-costumes guilt. I got home and tried it on her to make sure it wasn't too snug and that is when I noticed a little velcro patch on the bum. Oh, it was supposed to have a tail. But I didn't get one. I reasoned that this wasn't so bad because we were probably going to stick her in the stroller anyway, and if I really wanted to, I could just find something that worked as a tail...etc.

Enter today when Robyn came home and told me she needed to provide a snack starting with the letter 'D' tomorrow. Fine, but if you only give me one day to provide snacks, then I am going to ignore that letter you sent home about healthy food and instead provide Ding Dongs (because that's two D's, so neener). Since I was headed back to Wal-mart, I decided that I would just go back and look at the costumes and see if there was a tail. Well...there was, and you have probably figured out that I took it; shamelessly. The guilt would have come either way, but it was so much more fun to bring the children and field awkward questions as well.

Robyn: Are you taking that tail off that last tiger costume?

Mom: Yes, yes I am. But see, we didn't get one...(thinking of how to change the subject quickly).


Robyn: Where is the tiger tail?

Mom: I put it in my bag.

Ivory: Why?

Mom: So, I won't lose it. (Then, since I don't want to seem like it was a bad thing to take it) Do you want to hold it?

(Later, when tail is back in bag and we are at the checkstand)

Ivory: Did you pay for the tail? (She may have noticed that it didn't reach the conveyor belt)

Mom: Yes, yes I did.

And come on...I DID pay for a tail, the first time around. You must admit that if it were you shopping and you had noticed that a tail were missing that you would have grabbed one from another costume. I would have done this as well...had I noticed. It was just so much more awkward coming back to get it.

Upon returning home, I immediately called Tyler hoping he would ease my conscience. Not much help there. He must feel that I don't get teased enough (he is probably right), so he fills right in and he doesn't plan on letting me live down my first shoplifting experience. In fact he did a great job of rubbing it in the first chance he got.

Maleen: Oh, I grabbed some apples while I was at the store, because I wanted to make Apple Pie. You don't like raisins in it, do you?

Tyler: Now, when you say grabbed, you did PAY for them, right?

Maleen: *click* Oops, did I hang up on him?

So there you have it. I am stewing in my own indecision. I really think it was okay. It was okay, right? Yes, I don't need you to tell me, because I KNOW it was okay. I paid for a tail after all. So, I deserve a tail.

Okay, whatever, at least the pie was good, and I even let Tyler have some.

You can get the recipe somewhere in this post. Thanks Melanie, I really needed that. Nothing like caramel and apple to ease the guilt (what guilt?)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Birthday Pictures

So remember how I said that Kiddie Kandids doesn't really have the free birthday picture anymore and I would have to start taking my own? Well, it only took me a few weeks longer than I planned, but June and I went out on Saturday and had a little photo shoot. It was really fun just hanging out with her and we ended the trip with fries and pies from McDonald's. I should have been doing this before, it was so much fun. Here are some of the pictures I liked. I can't believe how grown up she is.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wyatt Earp

The great object is, that every man be armed.” —Patrick Henry

The citizenry shall disoblige themselves of the right to carry arms if they do nothing to avail themselves of the right.” —Tyler Cazier

Yes, I just shamelessly quoted myself. I started doing that when those quotes websites came out in the mid nineties. I used to sign up and deposit all these grains of wisdom and attribute them to “Tyler Cazier.” It was quite enjoyable.

But quoting one's self is not the object of this post: it is merely an exquisite introduction thereof. You may surmise by the tenor of the two famous quotes above that I am what liberals term, “an NRA-card-carrying-gun-toting hawk.” But I'm not just ANY NRA-card-carrying-gun-toting hawk—no! I'm a LOUD NRA-card-carrying-gun-toting hawk!

A while back I chose to obtain a conceal-and-carry firearm permit. The permit is often referred to as CFP (Concealed Firearm Permit) and CCP (Conceal Carry Permit); but I reference it simply as my license to kill in self-defense. I should note here that such a permit affords you only two additional rights: 1) to carry a firearm loaded; and 2) to carry a firearm without others' knowledge—concealed. You can already carry a firearm in the open—you just can't carry it loaded. To anyone interested, I'd be happy to explain anything you'd like to know about any aspect of the firearm permit, or indeed, any issue regarding firearms. Actually, I'll tell you my opinion on just about everything whether you ask or not.

The fact that most people are re-reading the previous paragraph to make sure they read it correctly—that you can carry a gun without any special permit—is precisely why I carry my gun the way I do. I'm not one of the people that carry a firearm concealed everywhere I go. No, I'm one of the people that carry a loaded firearm in plain view just to remind people that we have rights that disappear when we forget about them (see quote at the top of this post).

As you can see from my picture (Maleen helped me with this—it was an amazingly fun photo shoot), I carry my weapon on my thigh. I used to have a hip holster, but this is so much cooler! (I know: boys and their toys...) I've used a myriad of reasons to rationalize such a holster: it's more ergonomic than hip carry; it's more comfortable than hip carry; it doesn't disrupt a seatbelt in a car as hip carry does; it's more secure than hip carry; I have more mobility than hip carry. But it boils down to two real reasons: 1) the GQ factor is way higher; and 2) I WANT people to see it and react to it.

Higher GQ—who doesn't love it? Wanting people to react to things I do—that's just my personality. I wore my new tactical leg holster to Target for its maiden voyage. I thought it was a fitting location because it's open, low-profile, relatively few nut jobs, and the store name is perfectly appropriate. I found that my leg holster acts like an amplifier: people react more strongly in their normal direction. If they don't like guns they snub me and roll their eyes much more noticeably. If they like it, they are more vocal about it and point it out more. I also notice that more people (who are normally quiet and neither say or do anything) are making reactions one way or another.

I estimate that approximately ten percent of persons reacted to my hip-holstered weapon. However, I'd say that roughly one in three react to the leg holster! I get a lot more comments, and what I really love: more conversations. They usually start out with something like this: “Is that a gun? Are you an undercover officer? How do you get the permit to carry that?” or “Wow, why do you carry a gun?”

These questions are great segues into conversations that more Americans need to have about our Bill of Rights.

So if you see somebody who's brave enough to carry their weapon in the open, ask them about it! More likely than not, you won't be talking to a Neo-Nazi, but a proud American who is willing to not only claim their rights, but help others do the same.

When was the last time you asked somebody about their gun? If it was more than a few days ago, you haven't been getting your daily allowance of patriotism. Come on over—I'll hook ya up.

To sum up:
  1. Guns are good.
  2. Concealing guns is better.
  3. Responsibly carrying guns in the open is a wickedly cool way to be a patriot.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

How to Score Yourself a New Desk

Basically all you need to do is have your Dad stand on your old desk until it breaks. Granted you may need to come up with some plausible reason for him to stand on your desk, but don't give up; I am sure you can figure out some excuse.

We used the ever popular, "Can you please hang curtain rods above the window." Then we complicated the matter further by buying the wrong size curtain rod, and then making sure he had to hang it twice since we didn't have him measure the first time (actually, he didn't measure the second time either, but it is dangerous to ask him to drill holes a third time). By then, if your Dad has any significant mass, and your desk is built from less than quality materials, you should have accomplished your goal.

Good luck in all your sneaky endeavors.

p.s. This could cause harm to some Dad's if they are not expecting the desk to crumble under their 'slight' frame, so you might scatter some random pillows to absorb impact. However, if you want to give Dad a good excuse to complain and get out of doing the dishes for a few days, just let him fall wherever.

p.p.s. I would try this one myself except my Dad lives too far away and he is old enough to have stopped foolishly standing in high places. Plus, I'm not sure if he would have any idea how to hang curtains (I was the handy man around our house—and not a very good one).

Legal Disclaimer (in small print): This story is of course hypothetical, but just for clarification, NO Dads were permanently impaired as a result of this narrative. One Dad may have a bruised elbow, but he has no evidence to convict the guilty party (I mean NOT-guilty party).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Things I learned today...

In no particular order.

* Most animals have two nostrils, a few have one. I was racking my brain trying to think of what animal has one? Fortunately, Sesame Street did not leave me hanging; it is the dolphin (duh).

* I saw this random recipe for making Dulce de Leche using a crock pot and a can of sweetened condensed milk. It seemed far fetched, but I cooked it yesterday and then this evening we cut up apples and sat down to some carmely sweetness. Not bad, I say. I decided it was best to do this after the baby was snoozing, so I cut up the apples, gave each girl a small bowl of caramel for herself and then read books to them while they ate. Robyn stopped me along the way and said, "Why are we doing this mom? Do you want us to have fun?"

Apparently they are on to me. I am usually the NOT fun mom, but sometimes I break down and do something spontaneous and enjoyable. I try not to let it happen too often.

* Being a mom means constant giving, not receiving. It does no good to feel bitter against children when you do something nice and get no reciprocation in return (i.e. organizing an art project for June does not mean she will gladly watch the baby later so you can make dinner—which is also something she will benefit from). Being a mom is all about self-sacrifice and unselfishness. It doesn't mean that it won't cross your mind sometimes that selling one of your kids on Ebay might be a good idea.

* I really like Tacos. I should stipulate homemade tacos since we haven't eaten at Taco Bell (or the like) since the food poisoning incident in 2003.

* My crafty side is dormant but not totally gone. I finally decided that June could use some curtains in her room (bout time since we have lived here for six years). She wanted white curtains—BORING!! So I gave her Robyn and Ivory's curtains since they are white and yellow. Then I let Ivory and Robyn pick some new fabric. I am very happy with the end result, except for the part where I let them pick normal priced fabric instead of bargain priced fabric, so the end product is more chic than thrifty. Well, it is really the only curtain pattern I know (that I basically made up, and still got wrong the first time around today).

Sorry, this picture is back lit for obvious reasons.

I leave the curtains down at night, but during the day they cast a pink tint to the room, so we pull them together with ribbons to let in more natural light and I think they are really cute that way. Here is a close-up of the fabrics.

They agreed on the birds and I chose the polka dots, although Ivory claims the 'pokeys' now. They are technically reversible but I like the bird side more.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

While I Was Watching Daisy...

Someone else was busy.

She knew she was a stinker, but she thought she was so beautiful that she didn't even care.

She just paraded in front of the mirror and smiled. How can you get mad at that? So instead, I took her shopping, because I shouldn't be the only one to experience her loveliness.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Whole Handful

Back in college I found this crosstitch pattern that I thought was adorable. I don't normally go for the cutesy style, but I just liked this one for some reason. It has a little poem in the middle that says,

Light fades
stars appear
little angels

gather here

Each little angel was unique and made me laugh. I thought about changing the color of the hair so that if I ever had five little girls they would match, but what were the chances?

Apparently, better than I thought.

We learned today that baby number five is a girl. We are thrilled. It feels right that she should be in our family. I think she will fit right in, don't you? I was mostly relieved that they moved my due date. Usually by twenty weeks, my babies are quite active, and this one has been less so. Well, that is because she is measuring at 18 weeks. This seems right to me as well, so I was not disappointed at all when they pushed my due date back into March (the technician was relieved; it seems not all women are so compliant about moving their due date). So, if you have been following the counter and you notice my pregnancy going backwards, don't be alarmed; I'll catch up to twenty weeks again.

In the meantime, I am happy to say that it looks like the angels really are gathering at my home. In fact, I will have a whole handful of them soon.

Don't you love this sweet little profile with little hand above.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Child Does CRACK

Daisy is trying out new sounds all the time. She is at that cute stage where she mimics actions and words to the best of her ability. Tonight at dinner she folded arms simply because she saw me doing it. I have to admit that she is dang cute.

And she said her first official word (not counting Mama and Dada which are freely interchanged for whichever parent she sees or wants). The word was 'cracker'. It started off as merely crack, but she sometimes finishes it. Also, because there are so many different kinds of crackers (i.e. animal, graham, club, etc.) that we hear a lot of requests for crack around here.

She even managed a pretty good 'cupcake' the other day which earned her just that...a cupcake. I mean, if she can manage to say it, how can I not give her one? I need to stop being such a softy. After all, what am I going to do when she figures out how to say 'all the cash in your wallet, or your credit card would be fine.'

p.s. One of those top teeth finally came in—glory be!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Enter My Knight in Shining Armor

Our plans fell through for the night. I was really looking forward to them. So, I'm feeling a little

But it is nothing that a little

can't fix.

My husband is retrieving pictured deliciousness as I write this.

I guess the night could shape up okay.

Let's Talk

I was looking at my archives and noticed that I only posted 9 times in September. This is quite uncharacteristic for me. I was trying to figure out why and I came up with some possibilities:

1. Life is boring now
2. I have stopped being able to write humorously about every day experiences.
3. The baby is slowly leeching my will to live (Alissa, that is about the perfect way to say it).

I'm pretty sure that it is number three, but I often suspect number two. Truthfully, I am just tired. There are only so many hours in a day and not many are dedicated to me anymore. I used to blog during Daisy's nap time. She stills naps (albeit once a day now), but I can't seem to get anything done when she is awake, so I take that hour and a half very seriously. Most days I fill it with any activity that might be impossible with a baby clinging to my skirts (you realize skirt is a euphemism—like I actually wear skirts—most days I stick with pajamas).

My other blogging time was at night. Now, after brushing teeth, helping with homework, reading stories, and the like, I look from the computer to my bed and most nights the bed wins out. Okay, maybe my life is more boring.

Regardless, I feel this need to justify myself; like when you gain a few pounds and can't fit into your skinny jeans anymore (which trust me, I'm not fitting into many jeans these days). I want you all to know that I wish I were blogging more, I want to start blogging more...but if I don't, it's simply because there is a time for everything and this is my season to be overwhelmed by life for a moment. Life is good, kids are good, memories are good, balance is good, blogging is good.

I guess the good news is that no matter what I end up focusing on, it will probably be good.

p.s. Thanks for the chat, I needed that.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Color Me a Birthday

Very last minute I thought June might enjoy going to Color Me Mine for her birthday. The girl loves art, as evidenced by her birthday pick earlier in the month. Grandma Cazier takes them to ToysRUs and lets them pick ONE thing. This was June's pick; an art kit.

And that is Daisy getting into the art kit, naturally.

So, we threw everything together last minute (thanks Moms for letting friends come on such short notice) and we partied artsy-fartsy style.

The girls loved it. Everyone chose a piece they liked and got right down to business.

My main job was refilling paint colors and watching the artists at work. I can definitely get on board with this kind of party. I tried not to interfere with the natural creativity, but I did stop long enough to paint some eyelashes on Robyn's unicorn.

There was a chalk-board to use if you were done painting and the girls made good use of that.

Then it was time for cake.

This is the cake that inspired the whole party theme (I love the little paint brushes on the side). I saw it on Family Fun and some Mom had mentioned that she had made it for a painting party. I was sold. And you gotta love Color Me Mine because they had candles when I had forgotten them, and no birthday is complete without someone spitting on the cake.

I had used gel icing to put the colors on the cake and I should have realized the end result, but it was still a little shocking.

The finished products won't be ready until Monday, but I am excited to see the end result. It certainly wasn't the cheapest party (we would probably have saved money by going to Build-a-Bear), but I think the girls had a blast and created some great pieces and memories.